Beating Fear and Embracing Vulnerability

It’s one of those days when I am clammed up in my shell, hiding from my own thoughts and feelings, unsure of what to feel and what to think.

After a tumultuous past few months and a fit of rage against my ex that seemed like it would have lasted forever, I have finally eased myself in to the phase of acceptance and understanding that after all, I was in love and I should take the experience for what it was – an experience.

I was never the kind of person to live life in the shadows or on the foothills of fear. I never understood people who always remained vigilant and careful and didn’t give themselves fully, until recently. Some things just completely instill the fear in you, and I suppose this time it was my turn. I finally understand why all those years I despised fear too much, because now I know that nothing can cripple you the way living in fear does.

Anxiety, especially that related to relationships and opening up your heart to trust someone – is all stemmed in fear. Fear of being hurt, being abandoned, not being reciprocated, of not being able to live up to expectations, etc. I have been actively working on this in therapy in the past few weeks and I have to say, it’s like climbing a mountain.

Fear has made me weak. Fear has robbed me of my strong persona. Fear has made me look towards everyone else but myself for direction in life. As the days pass I am learning to let go of fear, to cut the tentacles that fear grips me by, and I will say that yes, some days are better than others, I have made some amazing progress.

A few days ago I conquered my fear. I overcame the anxiety that has been sitting on my heart and I allowed myself a moment of vulnerability. I allowed myself a moment to speak what was in my heart with no filters. I allowed myself to be what my scared, old self would call “reckless”. I told someone I was in love. I lay there contemplating it for several minutes. It felt like an eternity in a repetitive cycle. The words would come to my mouth but I would swallow them back again and again, because fear was omnipresent in me. I did this several times until my true, genuine, pure emotions overcame the ghost of fear. I spoke the words within my heart, I let it out.

I felt something overwhelmingly in that moment and I said it, and it never felt better than to speak my truth with a clear conscience the way I always have. Am I in love? Perhaps I am, perhaps I am not. It is indeed a complicated situation, but that’s not something that matters. What matters is that I found myself with the courage to speak my heart as it felt in the moment. I found the courage and acceptance within me to embrace my inner self. I finally stopped shaming myself for what I felt and accepted me for me. I not only combatted my fear, I combatted my self loathing and claimed back a piece of myself.

Of course it helps that the person I said this to is a wonderful human being that I absolutely adore, and someone who understands the journey I’m on. It is so surprising to me how we embrace so many toxic emotions and attitudes just so we can avoid facing our fears. We embrace anger to express our hurt feelings because we are fearful of appearing weak. We embrace silence and lack of transparency with one another because we are fearful of being caught or looked down upon. We embrace narcissism because we are afraid of losing our pride. We embrace dishonesty because we are too afraid what the truth will make our loved ones feel. The root of all of life’s pain and suffering is FEAR.

I want to leave everyone with this wonderful Ted Talk that helped me jolt myself back in to accepting my vulnerability. If you are fearful and suffer from anxiety the way I do, and overcompensate your attitude with negative emotions and approaches, you will find this very helpful:


What I Need

A lot of things I talk to my close friends about these days revolve around the topic of what I need in a great partner. I suppose it’s the age I’m at and the extent of romantic trauma I have been through in my past relationship that just amplifies this sentiment in those who are closest to me and constantly looking out for me.

To be honest with you, over the past months I have been primarily busy wallowing in my emotions of sorrow and anger, and then I went on my trip and restored my sense of self worth somewhere in that circus and came back home a new person. Yet the million dollar question still lingers – What do I need?

I have been pondering over this question for a few months now, wondering and hoping and gathering insight from everyone who is confirmed to have a shred of care for me. I may not be 100% ready to answer it, but I am close and I think I want to talk about it today.

I need someone who is strong. I need a man who values my hard work, my profession and how I worked my ass off to be who I am, and where I am. I need someone who speaks with clarity, whose words, actions and thoughts are in sync and perfectly aligned as straight as an arrow. I need someone who gives me the truth no matter how harsh it is – and not just truth about my bad habits, or the things I lack in my personality or how overbearing I can be. I need the truth about things that hurt me momentarily but do me good in the bigger picture, like who else he is seeing and where exactly do I stand in his life and how he feels about me.

I need someone who needs me. I need someone for whom I am not just one of many options, I am the only option. I need someone who can be my only option and makes me want to look no more. Someone I have put through the test of time, through shitty situations and bad mood swings to see if he still wants to be around. I need someone who can stand up to me, who says yes and no with concrete reasoning and not some fucked up power trip. I need someone who can ground me and make me forget about every single other motherfucker out there. That’s how wonderful I need this person to be through the trial and error of time. I need someone who respects my family, my friends, my independence and that I need time apart from him to clear my head so I can continue being the best version of myself to him. I need a man whom my mother looks at and knows she is never going to have to worry about me again, someone whose care and presence she can leave me in when she is on her deathbed. I need someone who deserves the best of me, not only because he brings it out but because he is so wonderful that he deserves nothing less.

I want to be with someone I can argue with without fear of retaliation, or hurt feelings and grudges; someone who knows how to forgive, forget and keep marching forward towards the sun because he genuinely believes a little blip of an argument means nothing in the field of sunshine that is fueled by our love . I need someone who resolves conflict quickly and efficiently, sees the error in his ways and is not afraid to admit when he is being unreasonable or wrong. I need someone who can laugh at himself, and also laugh at me when the situation calls for it because he does not put me on a pedestal and expect perfection – to him I am a friend, companion and confidante first, and his lover after all of that.

I need a man who will make a good father one day. Someone stable, with a reserve of patience, an eye for creativity and an attitude that lets children flourish rather than be intimidated. I need a man who shows my children through his deeds that he respects and loves women, that his daughter can set out to achieve anything his son wants to, if she puts her heart and mind to it. I need a man who is on the same page as me as far as religion is concerned, because I need him to keep my children out of the harm of indoctrination and fear, and protect them from the cloaks of institutions that will mentally suppress them. I need a man who isn’t ashamed of doing things for his children around the house – like fix them a plate of food or wipe their ass. I need a provider, a protector, a fighter and a soft-hearted man.

Do I ask for much? Perhaps I do. I am so tired of feeling like I deserve any less though, that I am just this stubborn person now who won’t settle for less. My entire life I was taught girls who ask for too much are mean, and guys are irritated by them. I was taught that to earn a man’s affection you must be submissive and quiet and silence your inner thoughts with compliance, sweetness and good manners. I was taught to be the woman who gets walked all over by men because I am too nice, and I must be super lucky if someone even superficially wonderful thinks I am worthy of their time. I don’t deserve that, I put my heart and soul on the platter every single time, for men undeserving of all that I have to offer. I am so tired of playing this role of martyr – where I sacrifice everything great I have for the good of someone else, only to be sucked dry and left like none of it had any value. I am tired of being the mother to tit-sucking hungry assholes who cannot see beyond the size of my boobs and my earning potential. I am tired to prove to boys who think with their dick that with me they can finally graduate to being men. I cannot continue on this path of self-destruction and misery. I refuse to, even if it means from this day on I am my own enemy.



I hate myself. I really do. There are days when I want to disappear. I feel despicable, and unworthy and of no purpose. 

I feel tired. I feel dragged down, and I feel like nothing. Yet, a part of me relishes this feeling. It’s liberating in its own way. I don’t know how or why, but it is. 

Control – I try and achieve it wherever possible. I thrive on certainty, of knowing things well, of making thoughtful decisions. I pride myself in being rational. To say the past few weeks have been rough on me would be quite an understatement. 

I feel as if I have failed myself. I feel as if I know nothing. I feel clueless. I hate this feeling, it scares me. I’m trying to grab any piece of objectivity I can and end up shooting myself in the face in the process. I am lost and I am broken. 

I feel I’m in a situation where I am being set up to fail. I feel I have no control of the course of my life anymore. I feel weak and hurt. I have been hurt. I am heart broken and I have lost a piece of myself. I am clueless and I don’t know what to do. All I want is to fix things but it involves work and effort from someone who is not me and someone I don’t trust fully. 

I don’t think I am made for this. There must be more to my life than this looming unhappiness. There must be. 

Dictation Tool

I’m so deeply disappointed while extremely ecstatic today. I launched a photography venture not so long ago and it’s been gaining traction through word of mouth. 

I signed on a couple today for a wedding and I am super excited for that. On the other end one of my oldest friends unhired me from shooting her wedding. It was all done so poorly that it broke my heart and as much as it pains me, I think I am gonna draw the line on the amount of bullshit I have to absorb. That means I’m going to be skipping her wedding. 

No matter what happens, I always try and be genuine in my life towards other people. I personally have been disappointed so many times. It’s always a mixed bag, you never know who is the next one to surprise you. It’s often the people that you least expected. 

On the contrary, I’m very excited for this weekend. It’s Fourth of July which means will be getting drunk and shit faced while celebrating the little freedom we have left in this country. Lately, I’ve been very worried about my boyfriend. From the looks of it, it seems as if he was not able to get into any residency programs in Puerto Rico for the summertime. 

He can be so very hard on himself. He’s always there spreading positivity and good thoughts into my life, and for brief moments, I sometimes feel I’m not doing the same. 

However, it’s important for me to realize that our roles in this relationship all completely different. I am certainly more pessimistic about the world then he Is, and he has a natural ability to see all the great things in people whereas I have the natural ability of crushing his dreamer status and bringing him back to earth.  

I suppose you could say I’m far too grounded into reality, in fact I won’t even call it a reality, it’s actually an over analyzed worst case scenario version of reality. 

To be honest, I have no idea why I wrote this post to begin with, actually I didn’t even write it. I used dictation on my iPhone. I enjoy the dictation feature very much, especially while I’m driving on the road and need to focus my attention. Right now, I’m speaking into the dictation tool using an English accent that is sort of crossed with an Irish accent. Very few people know this about me, but I love to mimic accents from around the world, and I am better able to do it the more I travel to places and pick up the local dialect. 

So far the iPhones dictation tool has been working very well. I’m going to give it some rest though, and Call it a night. 

Long Streak

I feel an onset of a new wave of depression coming along. This is either going to make me or break me. 

Everything is going well for me. I am making 103% of my salary band at work, being awarded “excellent performer” and probably looking at a promotion this year. 

I can’t stop thinking about my father. Random facebook comment phrase keeps ringing in my ears and mind : “the fate of brown people who can’t be turned in to a token”…. the fate of my father. 

Due to the circumstances he died in, his medical file is plastered all over the internet because he was catalogued as unidentified. I googled his name last night, to see his medical file. But i found a forum instead. 

A year and a half ago when i got news of his death, there were no comments on that forum. But last night was different. 

There was a thread of real people – exchanging ideas on how they could locate his loved ones. And one guy recognized my father from the streets. One man who saw my father at his worst. There is a man who remembers him. 

He pitied my father, hope his family is at rest now, and described my father as “VERY MENTAL” and having seen him almost every day at a spot he walked by for work in the morning. 

This one man is my last hope. I joined the forum and dropped him a message, commented on the forum and added him as a friend. I just want to talk to this man. You have no idea how much hearing back from this man means to me. It means the whole world. 

I suppose my mom was right. My father had to have been mentally ill to end up on the streets. 

A frenzy of google searches related to common psychological diseases amongst the homeless followed. My heart kept breaking and breaking in to a million slivers till I could take it no more. 

I cried myself to exhaustion and finally fell asleep at 5 am. I woke and checked gmail in a frenzy, hoping for notification from said man. Did he reply? Did he see my comment? When was said man last active? Does he think I am spamming him?

I would like to continue functioning in my life as if everything is normal. But who am I kidding. I can’t do this anymore. I am tired of pretending to cope when I am falling apart in to pieces at every step.

It’s enough to know your father died on the road with only one shoe, sweater and pants…and a whole other deal to know he was also very mentally ill while being forgotten by society. 

This is by far the biggest burden life has given me and I need to figure out how to live with this. 

Today in Adulting – Vol 1

The incompetent neighborhood post office emptied out my mailbox, put a vacancy notice in it (because I didn’t check mail for a week), and destroyed my unregistered mail which includes my Global Entry ID card. They returned my brand new passport to Arkansas – and it may as well be lost forever.

West Melbourne Water Bills have switched to a new system where you are required to enter a pin for your account # every time you pay your bill, except that pin cannot be changed or customized to something you can ACTUALLY remember, so if you’re like me and don’t have it tattooed on your right buttock, you have to call and ask them what it is – EVERY SINGLE TIME.

No news on my clearance from the govt, so I am mentally preparing to pay for a $300 Pakistani visa to go home this year, on a passport that the USPS does not want me to receive.

And then they wonder why people don’t stand up for the stupid national anthem.

Breaking Bad

I lost my bathing suit a couple months ago. As I planned a little getaway to Siesta Key this weekend, I ventured out to get a new one piece similar to my beautiful lost one but failed miserably. So I ended up doing the unthinkable; I got a two piece.

To my surprise it was actually not a bad fit at all and was very comfortable. I was also astonished at how not so awful I look in a two piece and it has dawned on me that years of psychological abuse over physical appearance from my mom, relatives and Pakistani friends can really make you subconsciously believe you’re hideous. 

This one’s for all the motherfuckers who fat shamed me in the past and will probably slut shame me in the future (that is if they don’t already). Cheers to overcoming psychological road blocks! 

Glass Ceiling

I don’t know of it’s “adulting” or just plain mental exhaustion, but I definitely feel I am a short brown girl always fighting off some force of the world. Life seems to be a constant struggle and I’m just a below average swimmer trying to stay afloat. 

While a lot of things have gone great recently, a lot of others have also gone wrong; and I am trying really hard to mentally process it but sometimes it’s too much to handle. 

Recently I got rejected by the University of Florida for their masters program. It makes me angry because I surpassed all their program requirements – GPA, GRE Score, etc. by a large margin. They told me my academic record is “problematic”. 

Those of you who have been following my blog for a long time know that my academic life was full of turmoil and struggle. I dropped out of college in my sophomore year. I was severely depressed, and not in a good place in my life. I worked hard during this time. I attended community college, sought help for my mental health, and was on medication for a long time. I returned and graduated within two years in top 20% of my class. I did well, better than anyone else. I was lucky I had help from a few close friends, and the resources to put myself through school. 

I know that when you have seen rock bottom, it always seems like an accomplishment to come out of that situation. It’s been a long time since I was in that place, but never have I ever felt apologetic. My academic record ended up being stellar and much better then almost every other person I knew in my program. 

In my eyes, overcoming adversity is a strong characteristic. A lot of the people who extended job offers to me before my graduation also shared my sentiment. 

So, when the University of Florida told me that my rough patch is their reason to reject me, my first emotion was anger. Then, I felt self-pity and self hate. Now, I am just heartbroken. 

I could go on and on of all the petty things that pile together and weigh on me and eat awat at my self-confidence and self-esteem, but what good has that done anyone right?

People say that sharing your troubles makes it better, but I don’t feel better. I feel like a self-centered dick hogging for attention from anyone who would be willing to listen. This is very ill suited to my personality. 

Socially Awkward

I worry a lot. Sometimes I worry about things I don’t usually bother about. And then when I can’t wrap my head around them, I realize why I decide to live without emphasizing on them. 
I always tell my friends – and they generally agree, that I am an acquired taste. Kind of like asparagus. 
I have never really bothered to be accepted fully by people, pleasing others has never been on my life agenda. However, there are always some people that you want on your good side whether you like them or not. That’s where life for people like me gets very difficult. 

I try and relate to people as much as I can, but sometimes the roadblock is just too big. This problem is very prominent in my relationships with women. I’m not very well versed in fashion, I definitely do not know proper etiquette of how to gossip about others. The biggest problem is that I can be very insensitive with my crude and blunt sense of humor. Basically – all the odds are stacked against me. 
I don’t know. 

Forging An Attitude

I have had a rough couple of weeks and sometimes things going on in my life consume my thoughts to such a degree that writing them out and arranging them in an array feels like an incredibly daunting task. 

I have seriously considered hiring a housekeeper. It’s not that I am incapable of cleaning or doing simple chores, but there are other things in my life that trump the desire to get down and dirty on my bathtub every Sunday. 

I have missed being in shape for a while now and I have finally taken some control back of how I want to get back in to physical activity. One of the biggest strides I have made is finally learning how to swim, and I am excited for the day I can finally swim strong. I have a problem with my kicking but a couple of people have been helping out with it. 

Truthfully as the days go by, I find myself becoming more and more of an introvert. I have faced certain people recently who dont seem to be very receptive or friendly towards me, and their behavior has seriously led me to deep thought. If you know me personally on any level, most likely you think I am a social butterfly. The truth is, I only open up in environments that are friendly. 

In a way, you can say that when my surroundings are positive, I flourish in social settings. Owing to the fact that my friends or people that I hang out with are generally fun loving and warm hearted, I have never actually considered the possibility that I am very introverted. 

But I have realized that the person I am interacting with pretty much dictates the relationship that I have with them. This is scary because it makes me feel that somewhere I may be socially incompetent. However, I do know that I would much rather continue being that way then try and forge an attitude that does not come naturally to me.